Advocacy and social justice run through the BSW program’s mission. We’re dedicated to graduating prepared leaders ready to not only take charge in health and human services agencies but to empower individuals, families, groups, and communities, whether to continue the fight against homelessness, poverty, and domestic violence or to assist those suffering from addiction or mental illness.
To achieve this outcome, this bachelor’s degree stands on the liberal arts and evidence-based, interdisciplinary social work practices promoting human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. The Department of Social Work & Youth Services acknowledges that the field overlaps with other disciplines, and in turn, this 51-credit program based on the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational Policy Accreditation Standards (EPAS) begins with prerequisite courses in psychology, biology, political science, and economics before transitioning into a core delving into social welfare policy, human behavior in social environments, and research techniques. Electives open the door into specialized areas of the field, allowing you to explore issues related to the family unit, healthcare, aging, and policymaking.
With the goal of preparing our students to pursue licensure and enter the workforce, learning beyond the classroom is a keystone of the BSW program. You’ll spend 450 total hours across two semesters in an agency-based experience, where you’ll assist actual clients in need. To further hone your skills, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in research with faculty, interprofessional activities, and service learning, all designed to aid with career placement and introduce graduate-level concepts. Along the way, faculty members utilize their own professional background and expertise in substance use, foster care and adoption, gerontology, LGBT youth, organizing, research, and law to provide greater insight into empowering diverse populations and serving others through community programs.
- strengthens your leadership skills while preparing you to assist individuals within a diverse, multicultural society;
- incorporates reflection and critical thinking to elevate the learning experience and anticipate challenging situations on the job;
- prepares you to endeavor in a direct or indirect generalist role in accordance with the profession’s principles, values, and ethics;
- gives you the knowledge and empathetic perspective to influence policy related to alleviating poverty and oppression and supporting human rights through social justice and advocacy;
- allows you to determine the bio-psycho-social, spiritual, and cultural functions of individuals and groups and encourage and uplift culturally diverse perspectives; and
- supplies you with the skills to shepherd your community with professional social work services reflecting traditional practices and SVSU’s commitment to social justice.
Learn more about the BSW program’s objectives and how they shape the curriculum.